Some bands just mean… nothing in the grand scheme of things. They come and go like the bowel movements of an elephant, and a Jeep drives through it, and the metaphorical wheels of the world spread it all over the place where it then becomes a free download. That sounds kind of mean and unnecessarily graphic, but it’s somewhat accurate.
Bullet For My Valentine, on the other hand, is an example of a band that represents the breakthrough of an entire genre to the world’s stage. From a metal enthusiast’s point of view, this is why they matter and why you should care about what they’ve been up to, because they have tremendous influence on the future of heavy music, not only because of the bands whose sounds will be impacted, but also because there are now companies thinking to themselves, “Wow, we can cash in on this shit,” which in turn will stimulate the supply side of the metal equation.
Venom is the 5th album from this Welsh bunch and, in my opinion, it’s comparable to their 2008 release, Scream Aim Fire, which is one of my fave albums of the 2000s. The thrash is quite heavy with this one, yet not overwhelming with the ’80s sentiment and gallop guitar strumming, which personally makes me want to hide in a filled bathtub for longer than I can hold my breathe. And, the most pleasant surprise is that there’s only like… maybe 1 half ballad-ish song. It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with ballads, but rather that writing ballads that don’t sound like Poison parodies tends to be difficult for modern metal bands. Maybe I’m alone in thinking that, but to me they come across super-forced, like watching a professional wrestler teach a birth giving class or… something like that, “Brother.”
So now that we’re appropriately off track, I’d like to focus on intros because intros make or break a song in a world of ADHD. 3 tracks start with screams – plus. 1 track is designated as the obligatory gang chant track, and it rules. The last track starts with a Rev. (Avenged Sevenfold) type drum fill à la “Remenissions,” which is always “welcome to the family” *wink wink*. And, there a couple of pick scrapes/hi-hat count-offs and fist pump openers, all of which live up to their larger than life, sonic landscape. If I wore panties, they would be off.
02. No Way Out
03. Army of Noise
05. You Want a Battle? (Here’s a War)
08. The Harder the Heart (The Harder It Breaks)
10. Hell or High Water
Run Time: 41:09
Release Date: August 14, 2015
Check out the song “No Way Out” here.